Flow from the volcano to the coast

Discover sicily

Etna, catania

Since 2017 I’ve been going to the Etna Volcano in Winter and fell in love with the Italian caribbean symphony, the incredibly warm, vivid yet soothing vibes and the spectacular scenarios! The active volcano overlooks the city dominantly like an envious god, yet Catania doesn’t mind with it’s Sicilian nonchalant defiance. We’ll surf down the best trails and slopes the mountain has to offer, all the way to the beach for a dip and the classic aperitivo. We won’t miss out on the bursting city life either, soaking up some of that southern vibe. 

giardino bellini catania_web

Summary

Here’s an example of a five day program on the volcano, with a good mix of leisure, discovering a powerful culture with epic sceneries!

Day 1 - Arrival

Airport transfer to the “Clan dei Ragazzi” resort for check in;
Evening: Bike check, briefing, aperitivo and dinner.

Day 2 - Shuttle to Piano Provenzana / ”Etna Nord Grand Tour”

Distance: 40km / Length: 5h / Elevation gain: 600m + / E. Drop: 2000m-.
Evening. Shuttle T. to Clan dei Ragazzi resort, bike check & dinner;

Day 3 - Shuttle to Piano Provenzana / “Etna Nord Freeride”

Distance: 35km / Length: 5h / Elevation Gain: 1150m + / E. Drop: 1350m- .
Evening: Pedaling to “Clan dei Ragazzi” resort in Linguaglossa, bike check & dinner.

Day 4 - Shuttle to Piano Provenzana / “Trail Party”

Distance: 36km / Length 6 h / Elevation Gain: 0m + / E. Drop: 2900m-.
Evening: Shuttle T. to Catania Center with aperitivo & dinner.

Day 5 - Departure

Airport transfer or alternative options available.

Program

Here’s an example of a five day program on the island, with a good mix of leisure, discovering an intriguing culture and riding wild trails surrounded by incredible scenery!
You’ll get picked up by a shuttle airport and get transferred to the “Clan Dei Ragazzi, which translates to “Youth Club”, a mountain resort on the North face of the Etna volcano. We’re in the right hands staying in this chalet as it specialises in outdoor activities and functions as a basecamp for hikers. Owners Ugo and Roberta are passionate adventure seekers themselves with a past as athletes and are always happy to share a good story. After checking in, we’ll set up our bikes, brief on our program and have a refreshment getting to know each other before going to dinner in house.
After Roberta’s cakes for breakfast, we leave with our van towards Piano Provenzana Station at an altitude of 1750m. By bike we’ll climb to the 2002 Craters at 2000 m.a.s.l. to ride all the way to the beach. The adventure starts on a volcanic path in a truly evocative and unique ecosystem. Once we reach Monte Nero, we’ll start a more technical trail that will lead us to the magic beech forest of Timparossa, which in autumn seems to glow with golden yellow and red colours in contrast to the black lava surroundings. We’ll go on the abandoned mule tracks that lead to the little town of Linguaglossa to ride down alleys with beautiful frescoes of popular paintings. Moving along the disused cycle path of Castiglione towards the Alcantara River Park where the habitat changes completely, from black lava to grassy fields with water sources and grazing animals. Pedalling along panoramic points to from which we’ll see the lakes inside high bowls made from ballistic lava with fascinating shapes. Continuing along the river path, down the valley all the way to the beach where the well earned aperitivo awaits. A perfect way to conclude our first tour, seaside at sunset. We’ll get back to our base by transfer before dinner time.
The morning begins with a panoramic uphill ride into volcanic territory, climbing 1100m in 10km and getting to summit craters at an altitude of 2850m. We’ll have the sensation of approaching sleeping giants, breathing and bursting from it’s enormous mouths. The south-east and north-east craters are in constant activity, erupting and blowing out gas. The astonishment continues with the ancient Leone and Bove Valleys, by the collapsing of enormous craters, much higher than the current ones. The space station looking Observatory at the top, gives the impression of being on the moon, confirming the extreme habitat we’re in. From this point forth we go on the longest, most thrilling freeride descent the Mount Etna has to offer. Surfing down fine volcanic rubble into channels like waves down to the feet of Monte Frumento, then onwards down a super fun sandy single track among white Birch trees in contrast with the black lava landscape. We’ll transfer back to the chalet by bike on a smooth path through the Sartorius Mountains.
On a shuttle day to complete our week we’ll ride all the single tracks of the Etna North Trail Center including the South-East side. 25km of natural trails built among some of the most persistent and characteristic vegetation you can find. The everlasting battle of organic soil brings an amazing flow factor to the equation, in a hostile lava land, that offers super fun shapes and features to the ride, with jumps, sweet g-outs and wavy berms. If we’re in luck, we’ll join the rest of the Etnabikeland gang for a typical Sicilian barbecue with a few local beers. The fourth night will be spent in the city of Catania with a hotel reservation in the centre. We’ll experience a typical festive evening out on the town celebrating our adventure with a sea food dinner and a dip in the famous night life.
Airport transfer or alternative options available.
image00007_web

Etna Bike Land Trail center

cozy chit chat in the Clan Dei Ragazzi chalet

After a day riding on the vulcano we sit by the fire and talk how things started here and what Adriano Cristaldi is up to. He is our local guide.

on the side

The thrill of walking on solidified lava will follow you visiting the attractions on the side of our tour. From the spectacular lava flow caves dating back to the Bronze Age, up to the “Wine Route” with the numerous wineries of international interest.

The frescoes in the streets of Linguaglossa, the medieval village of Castiglione or the lively Baroque city of Catania are a must see. The old city welcomes the masses on endless historical sites brought back to light after being covered from lava flows in the 1600s.

The imprint of Greek and Roman civilisation such with the many structures, decadent theatres, spas and architecture, heirs of Homer’s Odyssey.

Everyone needs to experience the popular cuisine, the Catania street food, the famous fishers market, the local fresh goods along with the typical wine and brew. Our last evening will complete the original Sicilian experience fully indulging in the aromas, style and colours of the old city center. A typical aperitivo-dinner to celebrate our tour, strolling trough Catania night life, in the alleys of the bars and fishermen.

I was born and lived at the feet of the volcano, yet only with 25 I fully realised of how extraordinary my home town really is. Mount Etna is like a god that dictated the formation of Catania and its peoples. Mountain biking inspired me to explore the trails surrounding me and that’s how I got to know Lorenzo.

My passion for this sport grew and my goal is now is to create amazing trails and show people around Etna on incredible tours!

book your holiday

For any type of request or information on this trip, do not hesitate to fill out the form and I will reply as soon as possible